My husband belongs to a model railroad club. I belong to a quilt guild. We often get calls from the grieving family members who have lost a beloved train hobbyist, or a quilter. The family left behind is trying to figure out what to do with all that hobby “STUFF”. Most are so overwhelmed with grief they are at a loss for ideas of how to handle the train room or the craft room. Some are convinced the stuff is worth millions, while others think the hobby stuff is just JUNK.
In that light, perhaps you might want to “think ahead” and make things easier on YOUR family, for that eventual time when we all take our last “ride” on the caboose.
While you have some time at home, I want to encourage you to take “stock” of your hobby gear. Take an inventory, match up the equipment to the box, put together a listing of the age, date of purchase and price for what you own. List your tools, and what they are and where they are located. Think about what the family is interested in and if you want a special piece of equipment to be given to a particular son, daughter, grandchild. Talk to them now, video chat and be clear about what they do and don’t want.
If you have equipment or tools at a club, think about what you have, where it is located, and what your plan is for it as well. Make certain your equipment is marked with your name, and the club turns the property over to the appropriate family member, or helps get the donation to the club sorted out.
Over the years, this has been a challenge at the model railroad club, with members abandoning equipment, passing without written direction, etc. A few years ago the club modified their “rules” and have a provision now to handle the situation. Something similar might work in your club.
From the “Club Rules” – X. Personal Property: A. Responsibility: Members are responsible for their own personal property they bring into the Clubrooms. If any member departs from the club, or is no longer a member, they must take any and all of their personal property with them. The Club will appropriate property that is left behind by former members after a period of no less than 180 days.
Make a plan so your loved ones KNOW your intentions. Tell them how to sell the gear, or how to donate and where you want it donated. Check NOW with that place you want to donate to and make certain they are able to accept your donation in the future. Do some checking on your own on Ebay or Marketplace, craft stores etc., to determine recent value in the “second hand” marketplace. Let the family know which pieces you have that are very valuable so they don’t end up on a picnic table at a yard sale years from now.
Take that list, and put it in your “important papers” file, for the time “down the line” when it is needed. Let your loved ones know what you want “done” with your fabric, sewing machines, crafting items, or other hobby tools when you are no longer able to enjoy them.
To the quilters, I especially want to encourage you to label your project bins(Include the pattern, and who it was supposed to be given to, etc) finish up your UFO’s, use up your stash, donate what you know you will never use NOW. Take this extended time at home to survey and sort and SEW! Most often, we find peace and tranquility in our sewing rooms, so I encourage you to settle in to the space.
If your space is not tranquil, work on changing it a little. Consider organizing, adding some colors that inspire, hanging pictures that calm, you. This is an especially challenging thing for me, because my space is full of “other people’s stuff”. Bins, totes, shelves, cupboards make things more orderly. The next time someone offers to help you organize, don’t say no. Maybe you can help in exchange someone else.
Until the next time, STITCH ON, stay safe, and make something that makes you happy.